Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, go on to send checks to support him. When he’s not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park.
I scored Choke for a great deal in my favorite LA bookstore. This was my introduction to Chuck Palahniuk’s work, though I’ve definitely heard of him before – like any other member of my generation, I’ve seen the Fight Club movie approximately one billion times. While I know it’s not kablamo to judge an author’s work by a film adaptation; I perceived a lot of thematic similarities between that film and this book. Anarchism, sex, apathy/disgust for commercialism and society, and an anithero protagonist who, underneath everything, just wants to be loved…you feel me. Continue reading